February 6, 2015
Hirose Meri (left) teaches
sign language to students.
Hirose Meri (廣瀬芽里), a Deaf woman from Tokyo, was assigned to Myrna Lalo prefecture in the Dominican Republic as a member of an international cooperative institution youth overseas cooperative group about two years ago.
She's teaching at the school for the Deaf named "Hogar del Nino" (meaning the "child's house in Spanish). It is an elementary school from primary to junior high school consisted of a hearing school and a school for the deaf, operated by a nongovernmental organization Eastern Welfare Charity group to which Hirose belongs.
When she had just assigned, the school for the Deaf seemed to have been isolated in the school building. Deaf children had events and activities less than their hearing peers, so Hirose complained to an executive in the charity organization many times, "Deaf and hearing students should be treated equally." They came to listen to her wish gradually, and the situation has improved in various points at present.
Living in a developing country, Hirose often feels there is an inconvenient case many times because of being Deaf herself. For example she had to make a contact with a guardian, but there is only a telephone for its means. The environment that you can make a contact by mail is not available. This made her realize that not only the financial matter but also the information network were also issues in a developing country.
Deaf woman to contribute through sign language in the Dominican Republic